Tuesday, July 08, 2008

vantage point

The other evening, while slurping down wedges of piping-hot pizza, we watched the movie Vantage Point.

It was certainly riveting, and aside from all the shooting and bloodshed, I liked it a lot. The plot revolves around a presidential assassination and the viewpoints of different people who were present when it happened---and to say it was an action movie is an understatement! I almost ripped the seams of our new leather couch, crawled under the coffee table, and bolted from the room in sheer horror. But other than that, it was really good.

(I hate shooting and bloodshed in movies. In real life I hate them even more though, which is what really counts in a person.)

Anyway. The movie got me thinking. The art of seeing things through others' eyes is an indispensable tool, and one which I don't practice as much as I should.

Here is a recent example of my own skewed "vantage point" that made me laugh. (With me, a little self-deprecating humor goes a long way.)

In order to beat the heat tonight, 5/6ths of the folk that live at 3108 piled into the PT and pointed the green kayak toward the lake. 3/5ths of us were going to swim. 1/5th was going to stroll around. The last 1/5th was going to kayak. When we pulled into the park, we saw one of our favorite families already frolicking on the beach.
A lovely surprise! The general response from the members of 3108 was "yipee!"--as they really love hanging with these particular people.

"Hey!" said I aloud to no one in particular. "How is it that they came to the lake and didn't think to invite US?"

This ludicrous statement, mostly in jest, was immediately followed by a rather sheepish and somewhat softer self-correction.

"Well, yeah....I guess WE came to the lake tonight and didn't think to invite THEM...."

It was interesting to me how my assessment of the situation changed when I stepped out of my own point of view. It was a short and powerful lesson about seeing things differently.

I wouldn't make a movie out of it, though. It definitely needs a car-chase.


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